This project is an example of a new typology of the tourism visitor centre, operating as a combined cultural and historical venue. At its most ambitious—using organic forms and materials indigenous to the area—the design seeks to evoke an immediate awareness of landscape.
The Squamish Adventure Centre is an elegant example of advanced wood technology and the capabilities of British Columbia’s forest product sector. It shows how modern designs with complex geometries can be quickly and economically built. Located along the Sea-to-Sky highway on the outskirts of Squamish, the building’s signature curved wing-like roof represents the eagles in the Squamish Valley. It’s a memorable landmark for the two million visitors who travel the highway each year between Vancouver and Whistler.
The elliptical geometry of the Squamish Adventure Centre contains more than 1,000 uniquely shaped heavy-timber members, all made from locally grown Douglas fir harvested from a sustainably managed forest operated by the Squamish First Nation.
The Squamish Adventure Centre’s curved butterfly roofs perch lightly on a supporting structure of exposed timber columns, brackets and beams. The roofs are made from 35 different composite steel and timber roof trusses that each have a unique geometry.
The Centre is built from 60,000 board feet of Douglas fir timber from the west coast of British Columbia, and the structure comprises more than 1,000 uniquely crafted elements that required detailing and precision milling.
The use of wood as a major building material for the Centre, along with local harvesting, milling and fabrication, minimized transportation energy while providing economic and social benefits to the region.